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New York Knicks flying high, but will averages play out?

Roar Guru
27th November, 2012
5

The Knicks have been one of the big surprises of this NBA season, sporting an 9-4 record and an average winning margin of 6.8 points.

Yes Knicks fans – who apparently only come in two flavours: bat-guano crazy and clinically irrational – will rant on about how no one believed in them, despite being picked by virtually everyone to make the playoffs and how ‘Melo’ should be in the running for MVP, despite having more giveaways than Scoopon.

But there lurks a devil in the darkness for this Knicks squad. A villain with a reach so long and a super power so great that even Dwight Howard gets a slight back twinge. The monster of mean reversion.

Right now the Knicks are shooting the lights out from deep. When Ronnie Brewer is scorching the twine like Jimmy Chitwood either the Mayans were correct or you are riding the proverbial hot streak.

There are six players who have played more than 200 minutes and attempted a trey and only one of them is shooting below .400 from deep. The irony being the culprit, Steve Novak, is the only guy who averages more than .400 for their career.

On this team only one other player, JR Smith the shameless gunner for whom confidence is a drug, who has a career average above .350.

If the Knicks were shooting their career averages or averages over the past four years from deep they’d be 6.3 points or 5.3 points worse off per game respectively. That is pretty significant versus a margin of victory of 6.9 points.

So what happens from here? It is possible for the Knicks to continue their stellar form, but unlikely. You are more likely to see a trend back towards the mean.

Now what does the mean, er, mean for the Knicks? Well, sadly for these guys, a by product of their proclivity for the long bomb has been an absence on the offensive glass so if those extra makes turn to misses that’s a material difference to the score line.

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So where does that leave the famed knickerbockers? Well thankfully the NBA East is like a nuclear wasteland for success so they will still probably get a three seed, but unless their hands remain it is tough to see this lasting.